After FBI raid, embattled lawmaker gives up panel seat
Mike Sheehan
Published: Wednesday April 18, 2007
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Nearly one week after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the home of Republican Congressmember John Doolittle (R-CA), the "embattled lawmaker" gave up his panel seat, according to the Associated Press.

"The FBI searched the Virginia home of [Doolittle] last Friday," Mike Soraghan and Susan Crabtree reported for The Hill Wednesday, "in its investigation into the ties of the congressman and his wife, Julie, to disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, according to law enforcement and other Congressional and K Street sources."

Today, the AP reports that Doolittle has given up his seat on the House Appropriations Committee.

RAW STORY reported in November 2005 that the Justice Department, investigating possible influence-peddling by Abramoff, had scrutinized his dealings with Doolittle and other lawmakers.

Presently, Doolittle "has been under fire," continue Soraghan and Crabtree, "for paying his wife's company, Sierra Dominion, a 15 percent commission on all contributions that the company raised for Doolittle's campaign committee and leadership PAC." Two of Abramoff's businesses made up the only other three clients of Doolittle's wife.

Excerpts from the Hill article, available in full at this link, follow...

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Doolittle came within three percentage points of losing his election in November after facing months of scrutiny over his relationship with Abramoff, who is in jail for an array of fraud, bribery and money-laundering charges.

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Doolittle also received contributions from indicted defense contractor Brent Wilkes and his associates, and investigators are probing whether those contributions are linked to any official action Doolittle took to help Wilkes’s company obtain millions of dollars in government earmarks.

Wilkes recently was indicted in connection with his investigation stemming from former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham’s (R-Calif.) bribery conviction and jailing.

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